The Methuen Police Department has received multiple calls regarding coyotes and what to do if you spot one. We would like to share the following information.
The following are things you can do if you spot a coyote in your neighborhood or near your home:
- Frighten coyotes with loud noises.
- Fear of humans is important for coyote survival.
- Keep garbage in a tightly sealed container.
- In your yard, remove pet food, fallen fruit and spilled seed beneath bird feeders.
- Use yard lights or motion detectors to frighten them away.
- Keep pets in fenced areas or covered kennels.
- Stay with your pets while outdoors, unless pets are in a secured, covered kennel.
- Do not allow pets to run loose. Keep pets on a leash.
Coyotes are usually skittish around humans and typically try to avoid people whenever possible. If you encounter a coyote:
- Never feed or attempt to tame a coyote.
- Do not turn your back on a coyote or run away from a coyote.
- If approached, make loud noises and make yourself look big. If this fails, throw rocks or other
- Always keep yourself between the coyote and small children.
- Don’t feed other animals that coyotes prey upon. Birdseed often attracts these innocent animals to your backyard which in turn attracts a coyote that is hungry.
Although attacks on humans are extremely rare, parents need to speak to their children about what to do if they encounter a coyote.
The Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game has more information about coyotes and what to do if you spot one on their web site here: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dfg/dfw/fish-wildlife-plants/mammals/preventing-conflicts-with-coyotes.html
If you have any questions or concerns regarding coyotes, please contact Conservation Officer Joe Giarusso at 978-983-8650.